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Salami vs. Summer sausage. What Is Their Actual Difference?

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Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian by Jack Yacoubian | Last updated on June 15, 2023
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel Article author photo Igor Bussel
Summer sausage
vs
Salami

Summary

Salami is more nutrient dense than summer sausage and richer in minerals like copper, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, and selenium. Salami has richer B complex vitamins and is richer in proteins. In comparison, summer sausage is richer in vitamin B12, iron, higher in saturated fats, and lower in sodium. 

Introduction

This text compares two types of processed meats that are different types of sausages; salami and summer sausage.

Summer sausage is also known as cervelat. 

The name summer sausage comes from the tradition of being prepared in the summer; since summer days are dried and warmer, summer sausage is dried and smoked optimally to give its specific taste and texture, which we will discuss in the following sections. 

In this article, we will compare salami and summer sausage to one another according to their general differences, nutritional content, and health impacts. 

General differences

The general differences between these 2 sausages come from their taste, usage, and preparation methods.

Taste

The main difference that will affect the taste is the fermentation process. 

Salami is a fermented and then dried-up sausage, whereas summer sausage is usually cooked at lower temperatures and dried up

This fermentation process will give salami a stronger and more robust flavor than summer sausage. 

Salami and summer sausage are usually prepared in common recipes by mixing pork and beef. 

Overall, salami has a more robust and stronger flavor than summer sausage. Summer sausage, in comparison, has a milder, savory-sweet taste. 

Usage

These can be used in various forms; they can be used as they are with crackers, and they can be used in sandwiches. The most common usage of salami is wine and cheese and as a topping on a diavola pizza, which gives it an extra spicy taste. 

Preparation methods

As mentioned above, both use a pork and beef mixture. However, summer sausage can contain game meat such as venison meat. 

Salami undergoes an additional fermentation process before it dries up. In comparison, summer sausage doesn’t have this fermentation step during its preparation. 

Nutritional content comparison

In this section, we will compare 100g of each. 

Calories

Summer sausage contains slightly higher amounts of calories.

Protein

Salami is richer in proteins compared to summer sausage. Salami contains nearly 22g of protein, and summer sausage contains about 17g of protein. 

Carbs

Their carb content is negligible

Fats

Both are considered high-fat sausages. In comparison summer sausage is higher in fats compared to salami. 

It is important to mention that summer sausage is higher in saturated fats than salami. 

Minerals

Salami is mineral dense and richer in minerals compared to summer sausage. However, there is a concern which is the amount of sodium. 

Salami is richer in selenium, manganese, copper, zinc, and phosphorus. In comparison, summer sausage is richer in iron


Salami is higher in sodium compared to summer sausage. Noting that eating 100g of salami is nearly the amount of the daily sodium allowance. 

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Contains more Calcium +440%
Contains more Iron +44.9%
Contains less Sodium -14.8%
Contains more Magnesium +46.2%
Contains more Potassium +53.4%
Contains more Zinc +30.2%
Contains more Copper +410%
Contains more Manganese +2956.3%
Contains more Selenium +317.3%
Equal in Phosphorus - 191
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 25% 85% 10% 77% 19% 194% 62% 24% 5% 41%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 5% 59% 14% 82% 28% 227% 80% 119% 128% 171%
Contains more Calcium +440%
Contains more Iron +44.9%
Contains less Sodium -14.8%
Contains more Magnesium +46.2%
Contains more Potassium +53.4%
Contains more Zinc +30.2%
Contains more Copper +410%
Contains more Manganese +2956.3%
Contains more Selenium +317.3%
Equal in Phosphorus - 191

Vitamins 

Salami has a richer and dense vitamin profile compared to summer sausage. Salami is richer in all B complex vitamins except vitamin B12 which is higher in summer sausage. Summer sausage is also richer in vitamins C and D

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
:
9
Salami
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Folate +133.3%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +13.8%
Contains more Vitamin D +233.3%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +47.4%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +123.1%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +108.7%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +58%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +253.1%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 45% 0% 9% 0% 63% 37% 55% 46% 30% 6% 217% 0% 0%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 0% 5% 30% 0% 92% 83% 114% 73% 106% 3% 191% 51% 8%
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Folate +133.3%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +13.8%
Contains more Vitamin D +233.3%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +47.4%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +123.1%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +108.7%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +58%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +253.1%

Health impacts

In this section, we will compare the health impacts of each food, considering the negative and positive health impacts. 

Impact on the gut health

Since salami is fermented, it contains healthy probiotics for our gastrointestinal system. However, we should mention that they contain nitrites, nitrates, and high sodium. However, these probiotics make it to our gastrointestinal system and give us benefits. 

Also, we should ensure that a better option for salami is one with the natural casing of the meat and not synthetic ones (1)(2). 

However, salami contains nitrosamines that cause negative health impacts, such as increased risks of certain cancers, such as colorectal cancer (3). 

The same nitrogen compounds are present in summer sausage aswell and are associated with negative health impacts. However, since summer sausage is not fermented, it does not contain probiotics (4).

Cardiovascular health

Summer sausage contains higher amounts of fats and saturated fats, which are associated with increased risks of cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis (5). 

In comparison, salami is higher in sodium which increases the risks of hypertension and overall is associated with increased risks of cardiovascular mortality (6). 

Miscellaneous

Salami is more nutrient dense regarding proteins, minerals, and vitamins. It can be considered as a better alternative because of all these attributes. 

Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Last updated: June 15, 2023
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel

Infographic

Summer sausage vs Salami infographic
Infographic link

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Fats +46.4%
Contains more Protein +12.5%
Contains more Carbs +31.9%
Contains more Water +24.8%
Equal in Other - 4.66
19% 38% 2% 36% 5%
Protein: 19.43 g
Fats: 37.91 g
Carbs: 1.82 g
Water: 36.2 g
Other: 4.64 g
22% 26% 2% 45% 5%
Protein: 21.85 g
Fats: 25.9 g
Carbs: 2.4 g
Water: 45.19 g
Other: 4.66 g
Contains more Fats +46.4%
Contains more Protein +12.5%
Contains more Carbs +31.9%
Contains more Water +24.8%
Equal in Other - 4.66

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +22.9%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +19.4%
Contains less Saturated Fat -11%
39% 50% 11%
Saturated Fat: 10.47 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 13.68 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 3.02 g
41% 48% 11%
Saturated Fat: 9.316 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 11.127 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 2.529 g
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +22.9%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +19.4%
Contains less Saturated Fat -11%

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Summer sausage Salami
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Glycemic Index ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Rich in minerals ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Summer sausage Salami Opinion
Net carbs 1.62g 2.4g Salami
Protein 19.43g 21.85g Salami
Fats 37.91g 25.9g Summer sausage
Carbs 1.82g 2.4g Salami
Calories 426kcal 336kcal Summer sausage
Sugar 0.12g 0.96g Summer sausage
Fiber 0.2g 0g Summer sausage
Calcium 81mg 15mg Summer sausage
Iron 2.26mg 1.56mg Summer sausage
Magnesium 13mg 19mg Salami
Phosphorus 178mg 191mg Salami
Potassium 206mg 316mg Salami
Sodium 1483mg 1740mg Summer sausage
Zinc 2.25mg 2.93mg Salami
Copper 0.07mg 0.357mg Salami
Manganese 0.032mg 0.978mg Salami
Selenium 7.5µg 31.3µg Salami
Vitamin A 749IU 0IU Summer sausage
Vitamin A RAE 225µg 0µg Summer sausage
Vitamin E 0.22mg Salami
Vitamin D 12IU 41IU Salami
Vitamin D 0.3µg 1µg Salami
Vitamin B1 0.249mg 0.367mg Salami
Vitamin B2 0.16mg 0.357mg Salami
Vitamin B3 2.9mg 6.053mg Salami
Vitamin B5 0.76mg 1.201mg Salami
Vitamin B6 0.13mg 0.459mg Salami
Folate 7µg 3µg Summer sausage
Vitamin B12 1.73µg 1.52µg Summer sausage
Choline 93.5mg Salami
Vitamin K 3.2µg Salami
Tryptophan 0.15mg 0.114mg Summer sausage
Threonine 0.54mg 0.521mg Summer sausage
Isoleucine 0.62mg 0.675mg Salami
Leucine 1.1mg 0.929mg Summer sausage
Lysine 1.16mg 1.107mg Summer sausage
Methionine 0.36mg 0.301mg Summer sausage
Phenylalanine 0.56mg 0.481mg Summer sausage
Valine 0.69mg 0.668mg Summer sausage
Histidine 0.47mg 0.359mg Summer sausage
Cholesterol 89mg 89mg
Trans Fat 0.586g Summer sausage
Saturated Fat 10.47g 9.316g Salami
Monounsaturated Fat 13.68g 11.127g Summer sausage
Polyunsaturated fat 3.02g 2.529g Summer sausage
Omega-6 - Eicosadienoic acid 0.084g Salami
Omega-6 - Linoleic acid 2.104g Salami
Omega-3 - ALA 0.126g Salami

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Summer sausage Salami
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
39%
Summer sausage
58%
Salami
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
54%
Summer sausage
91%
Salami

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Summer sausage
Summer sausage is lower in Sugar (difference - 0.84g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Summer sausage
Summer sausage contains less Sodium (difference - 257mg)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Summer sausage
Summer sausage is lower in glycemic index (difference - 28)
Which food is cheaper?
Summer sausage
Summer sausage is cheaper (difference - $2.7)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Salami
Salami is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 1.154g)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Salami
Salami is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Salami
Salami is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (89 mg)

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Summer sausage - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174599/nutrients
  2. Salami - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172936/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.